Main Speaker (2018)
Eric was born in Queens, NY, but spent most of his life in the most wonderful state, NJ (NY & MA are tied for second). After graduating from St. John’s University (Queens, NY) with a Childhood Education degree, he moved to Massachusetts for an M. Div. degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. During his time in MA, he served in youth ministry for five years as youth pastor for NBKUMC and staff for ARISE. He moved back to NJ in April 2016, and by God’s grace, he is now married to his rap-loving wife, Sunna. He is currently serving and loving the youth and their families as the youth director at Maranatha Grace Church in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Morning Boys and Girls Sessions (2017)
“Growing Through Father & Family Wounds”
Andrew Kim & Esther Kim
Being Korean-American, we come from families with particular common wounds and ways we were not discipled in our homes even if our families went to church. How can we recognize and name our hurts and the things our parents weren’t able to do for us? Where is God in those places and what truths does He speak into our lives to heal and reshape us? How can we choose to be planted and grow in the grace and love of our perfect Father, despite the imperfect families we all come from?
See bio above.
Esther is currently studying counseling and theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and hopes to pursue psychology upon graduation. She is passionate about storytelling which stems from her background in journalism. She loves anything that piques her curiosity and believes communities can change the world.
“Defining Significance, Success, and 'The Good Life'”
Andrew Kerhoulas & Lauren Boyer
Our culture, social media, parents, teachers, friends, even where we live brainwash and define these things for us. What are those definitions we are fed? And what does the Bible and the testimony of brothers and sisters in our Christian family throughout history say about what constitutes our significance, success and “the good life”?
After studying Music and Bible/theology at Asbury University, Andrew spent three years at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. ’12). There he met his wonderful wife, Anne whom he married in ’13. He primarily serves as an assistant pastor at Citylife Presbyterian Church while also directing the music ministry. Beyond seeing the gospel change all kinds of people, Andrew enjoys listening to music, watching sports, and drinking good coffee. His twitter handle is @akerhoulas.
Lauren is the Director of Mercy Ministry at Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston, MA. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, she first moved to the city to study International Relations at Boston University. Before stepping into her current role at Citylife, Lauren spent six years doing college ministry both in Boston and in the Middle East. She is passionate about helping others' cross cultural, economic, and social divides to find common ground through Jesus Christ. She is also passionate about music and dreams of a day when she’ll be able to successfully beatbox.
“Spiritual Friendships for the Journey”
Young Paik & Kate Albert
People usually don’t learn till way later in life (when you wish you had known sooner!) that you absolutely cannot walk with Jesus and flourish in life without the fellowship of spiritual friends. Truth. It’s God’s design for life. We’re not talking about just buddies or hang out friends or even friends you’ve known for a long time. Spiritual friends are friends who pursue Christ together, build each other up, courageously and humbly call out sin, and embody love and grace even as you’re still learning how. Friendship with a focus and mission--to grow mature in Christ together! It’s a must! How can we start now?
Young has been in New England since 2003 and calls Peabody home on the North Shore with his wonderful wife, Sage, and beloved son, Timmy. When he's not practicing dance moves with his son or chasing rabbits in the yard, he's a Managing Partner at a consulting firm that helps companies use software to train and develop their people. His passion is seeing individuals grow in their unique, God-given talents, and helping to build an organization that cares for its employees and desires to see them thrive. (Second and third to that is fishing and hockey!) As each year goes by, he learns how vital it is to have spiritual friendships to weather each season of life, reminding him just how much God treasures him. Locally, he attends Citylife Presbyterian Church of Boston where the Lord continues to challenge him to love God and love his neighbors.
Kate originally hails from Philadelphia, and though she still roots for the home team she is slowly growing to love Boston sports. Kate earned a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary, where she also played four years of lacrosse. She then went on to earn her M.S. in Sport Administration from the University of Louisville. She spent several years as a collegiate lacrosse coach in Virginia before moving to Boston in 2015 to marry her husband Tim. Her interests include theology, hospitality, and all competitive sports. Kate is passionate about women growing in their knowledge of and love for the Lord, and walking together through the joys and sorrows of life. She currently resides in Boston with her husband, Tim and their son, Caleb.
"How Far Does Love Go?"
How does Jesus treat outsiders? What does it mean that Christians were once outsiders? Who are the people around you that don't belong? Jesus came to seek, and love and save the lost. This talk will help us to turn our attention to the people around us as we seek to be light and salt in our schools and communities.
Brice is pastor and church planter of Garden City Church in Jamaica Plain, MA. He has been serving in local church and parachurch ministries for ten years. While completing his BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University, he helped plant a Redeemer City to City church in West Palm Beach, FL. Moving to Boston in 2013, Brice completed his M.A. in Theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary while working at Citylife Presbyterian Church and The Ockenga Institute at Gordon-Conwell. Brice and his wife, Leona, live in Boston with their one-year-old daughter, Grayce.
"A Greater Story"
10 years ago it was Facebook and how many friends you had, 5 years ago it was Twitter and clever tweets and now with Instagram and Snapchat it's about our stories. We're made to know and be known, it's in our DNA and we crave it. There's nothing wrong with social media, but often our addiction to it reveals an unhealthy desire to be known. How does the gospel, and being woven into God's ultimate story, define us and free us from an overwhelming need to be known?
From Illinois, Jay attended the University of Illinois-Chicago and then moved to Massachusetts to study theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2005. While at Gordon-Conwell, the Lord led Jay to a career working with youth. For the last nine years, Jay has taught at Landmark High School in Prides Crossing, MA and Prospect Hills Academy, Boston, MA.
"Temptation, Desires, and the Promises of God"
Sometimes there is a perception of Christianity that it is simply a long list of "don'ts." We can often get stuck in focusing so much on what we shouldn't do or what we "can't have" that we lack understanding of what we DO have and all that God offers us in this life! Come to discuss the real difficulties of facing temptation and dealing with desire, and how we can find real joy in understanding what is better about following Jesus.
See bio above.
"Is it God’s Voice or Mine?"
Does God really speak to me when I pray? What does God's voice sound like? How can I know if I am hearing God, or just hearing my own thoughts? Most prayer lessons discuss the talking side of prayer, but this seminar will focus on the listening side of prayer through personal stories. Join this seminar if you want to learn how to hear and discern God's voice.
DaeSung (James) Kim
James wanted to be a pastor ever since he was four years old. He grew up in South Korea and moved to Canada when he was in high school. He received his Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is currently a doctoral student in Systematic Theology at the London School of Theology. He serves as youth pastor at Quincy Youngsang Presbyterian Church in Quincy, MA. James loves to play basketball and is a big Toronto Raptors fan. He met his beautiful wife Sarah in Boston and has been married for 3 years.
"Battling Shame and Guilt with the Gospel: Being the Salt and Light in a Pornified Society"
We have been exposed to a shocking level of sexualization. The desensitization of sex has led to a profoundly disturbing upward trend in porn consumption among all ages, not just teenagers. However, pornography can be a topic of shame and guilt within the body of believers, and is often not talked about (as much as it should be) due to levels of awkwardness and discomfort. Sexual sin is something many people struggle with. Jesus calls us to a radically different life from the one that's openly portrayed in movies and advertisements. The Gospel urges us and enables us to not only confront our sins, but also find true freedom and peace in knowing that Christ died for them.
Joshua was born in Guam, and raised in Queens, New York (which may or may not attribute to his passion for good pizza and bagels). After graduating from Binghamton University, Josh enrolled at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he currently studies. He also serves as the youth pastor at New Light Korean Church in Waltham, MA.
"Running from a Bear Hug: Staying Close to God when Life Stinks"
Let’s be honest. Life can be unbelievably difficult sometimes. We all experience hurt, frustration, pain, and other emotions when life doesn’t go the way that we think it might or should, and our initial reaction is to run as far away from God as we can. We see grades that were not what we studied for, an addiction of which we’re ashamed; a divorce or death in our family; a broken relationship that we thought was going somewhere. As a result, we stop doing devotions, we stop praying, we may even stop going to church. That is the last thing, however, that we need to be doing. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in the moment of pain is admit that we are vulnerable, and that we need someone bigger than ourselves. In this seminar, we will be looking both at the biblical precedents from bringing our frustrations to God, why it’s okay to be angry, and practical ways to stay close to the God who wants to give us a bear hug when all we want to do is run away.
Liz is a native Bostonian, growing up in Lowell, MA and receiving her B.A. in English Literature at Gordon College. After a trip working at a youth camp in France, she felt God's call to go back to school to study counseling and religion (New Testament studies), and is currently finishing her degrees at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She hopes to work in a school (stateside or abroad) after graduation as an adjustment counselor. Liz has a heart specifically for working with youth in the church, fostering a deeper love of Jesus and building Christ-centered identities and healthy self-images based on that knowledge. When she's not out jogging, you can find her experimenting with new recipes, learning how to drink coffee black, snacking on white chocolate, and listening (and trying not to dance in public) to any and all music.